A delivery firm has been accused of "playing with a child's life" after it took almost a week longer than expected to bring vital supplies of specialist milk to a boy with an incredibly rare disease.
Canterbury teenager Hayden James, 13, relies on DPD to deliver bottles of Tentrini, which is his only food source.
Without the milk, he will end up in hospital - yet the courier company failed to follow through on its pledge to have the stock distributed last Thursday.
Six days passed without a delivery and Hayden, who should be having more than a litre of the fluid each day, did not have his much-needed nutrition.
He was diagnosed with Coffin-Siris syndrome - a rare genetic disorder which, among other hindrances, prohibits his ability to swallow - last summer.
Come Wednesday afternoon, all of the back-up stock of Tentrini at the family home in Hollowmeade, in Wincheap, had gone.
Hayden's mother, Hayley, and step-dad Mark, had been trying to get the DPD no-show resolved but to no avail - until the firm finally made the delivery on Wednesday evening.
"I've been in absolute bits," Hayley said, before getting the long-awaited delivery.
"It's like they're playing with a child's life as it isn't being taken seriously.
"If it continues, Hayden will have to go to hospital and be fed with a tube put down his nose.
"He should be having more than 1,000ml every day but now all the back-up supply has gone. So today he's only had 130ml, and now it's gone.
"DPD kept saying it'd be delivered and then it never was.
'It's like they're playing with a child's life...'
"We offered to go to Sittingbourne to collect it ourselves but they said they'd delivery it.
"I don't understand as surely they know it's urgent as the box says it's for medical supplies."
The family turned to Nutricia, the suppliers of the Tentrini milk, for help and an emergency delivery was organised before DPD at last got into gear.
Hayley continued: "We tried everything to get the milk in a different way but weren't able to.
"I asked the hospitals and everywhere else, and on Facebook, but we couldn't get any. It's not as easy as having a prescription."
DPD has been contacted for comment.